As my final three days working at Uam Elementary roll around, I find myself filled with infinite levels of tranquil zen-ness. It’s really hit me that this is it, and about this fact I feel so much peace.
Part of me wonders if I could have put up with another 6 months, thereby receiving my full severance pay and exit allowance, but with all the changes in the POE I would have likely gone crazy. I think the timing has been just right and I’ve managed to pick myself up off the ground enough to let go with a dignified nod of the head instead of crying in fetal position and/or carried out on a stretcher in a straight jacket.
So that said, I arrived at school early to prepare for the final stretch. Good thing too because the computer monitor wasn’t working so my co-teacher and I had to call a technician and improvise. Most of my 16 kids were late today, but they meandered in between half an hour to an hour after the 9am start and got down with the painting with such enthusiasm I forgave their tardiness. Hell, I even had fun. First time I’ve felt happy at school in a long time.
Aside from running out of yellow to finish the orange background, we managed to get 95% of the first stage complete – although this was mostly thanks to my co-teacher, myself, and two dedicated students who continued painting whilst the other kids took their (well deserved) break and watched some Ice Age.
Here’s what we managed to do today. I’m really happy with how it’s turned out.
I took on a lot more ambitious project with these kids compared to my grade 5/6’s because there are so many more of them, but I don’t think this was a mistake. Even if I have to paint after they finish each day to do touch ups, it’s worth it.
Afterward my co-teacher took me out for lunch to a famous buckwheat noodle naengmyeon restaurant. Naengmyeon is cold sour soup and one of the foods I’ll miss from here the most. It being another humid as day, it was also perfectly refreshing.
Also for the curious, my piercings weren’t received badly at all! My co-teacher was politely interested but made no criticism, and only a few of the kids noticed it, though I didn’t let them take pictures like they wanted. So that was a relief.
Anyway stay tuned for tomorrow’s continued mural results.